I’ve been a theater and movie fan my entire life. I don’t remember exactly when my love of movies started, but I’ve been a huge movie buff as long as I can remember. I believe my love of theater started when I was really little and went to see a performance of the touring version of a revival of Peter Pan with Cathy Rigby at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. I don’t remember much about it but I’m pretty sure I was enchanted by it overall.
Until last year, however, I didn’t really know about a theater show that particularly grabbed me. That changed when I came across a song posted online from Dear Evan Hansen called “Waving Through a Window” and I was instantly hooked on the show and wanted to see it so badly. My top three favorite songs from the show are “Waving Through a Window”, “You Will Be Found”, and “Words Fail”. I think what draws me to this show the most is how relatable the character of Evan and his situation is. He has severe social anxiety, struggles to connect with people, struggles with trying to talk to his lifelong crush, and wonders if he really belongs anywhere. These are all things that literally anybody can relate to and have actually dealt with at some point in their lives. I know I’ve dealt with all of that and pretty much everything Evan was going through, even suicidal thoughts for a brief time, but I knew doing that wouldn’t solve anything.
When I found out it was going to be going on tour last year and would be coming to my area in the spring a little after my birthday, I knew the thing I wanted the most for a birthday present was to get tickets for it. My mom didn’t want to accompany me because of the content and sad themes, but I convinced my second oldest sister to come see the show with me. Sometime before, I purchased the book based on the show, which I have yet to read but plan to at some point in the future, and have heard that it’s as amazing as the show because it captures the emotion and everything about it.
When I spilled out everything I’d been going through to my mom the previous Christmas, I finally figured out why I wanted to see Dear Evan Hansen so badly and was so addicted to it: because I was Evan. I was dealing with a lot of stress and had been bottling it up for so long that it had become unbearable, like how Evan was bottling up everything he felt and it all just came flowing out. Evan and I both learned that bottling up any negative emotions is terrible for your mental health in the long run. When it finally came to town and I went to see it, I was blown away. The show hit me in all the right ways and I knew how I connected with Evan. My sister and I walked out and when we talked about it, we both said we liked it and agreed that while it was emotional, it wasn’t depressing overall. Over time, I realized it was really a show about promoting good mental health which is both important for people to have and is needed with all the stuff that we’re both seeing and hearing about. For these reasons, Dear Evan Hansen is now my favorite Broadway musical of all time.
The show even inspired me to make a music video using one of the songs from the show, which I finished over the summer. Since it’s Christmastime, I wanted to share it with you. If there’s a chance you’re not familiar with Dear Evan Hansen, there’s a very good chance you’ll be familiar with who the subject is: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Rudolph and Evan are actually very similar when you get down to it. They both want to feel accepted by society, they both feel like they don’t really belong anywhere, they both have something they don’t want others to know they have, and they both ultimately learn to accept themselves. The link for the video will be at the end of this post, so go check it out and please leave a comment. Read the description of the video before seeing it.
And that’s why I love Dear Evan Hansen.